I am in the final stages of wrapping a project for retail client. The outcome was surprising in many ways.
It was the first time we had worked together. His business can be classified as a mega retailer, albeit with one store only it is a significant business.
After some discussion, my proposal was accepted and I got to work.
On the day I had to report back for the first time, I had to inform the client that I was knock a substantial chunk from bill and complete the project early.
The reason is not because I don’t like making money.
The reason is because he is so good at making money out of his retail business, that I could add relatively value and couldn’t justify my full fee.
Whilst there are probably a dozen or so actions that we can recommend, the truth is that these are quite minor and is really just about the final 1%. (On a big business that is a meaningful number, but nevertheless not the impact I had anticipated I might make.)
I have compiled a list of ways in which this retailer is different to the ones I usually meet. (And I have met thousands and worked with hundreds.)
Of course the store functions well operationally. (Clean, well merchandised, well-trained staff.) Those all the things I identified last week – and it goes without saying.
The question is: why does this particular person succeed at making those fundamentals happen when so many others don’t? I sought to identify the reasons BEHIND the successes achieved – the root causes so to speak.
- He is an entrepreneur – not a small businessman. (I won’t labour the point here, but it is a different mentality altogether.)
- He has empowered his staff fully (trained them well of course) and they truly KNOW and OWN their numbers – right down to GP% for sub-categories.
- He is a ‘nice guy’ – in the positive, ethical sense – and gets along with staff. I am confident that I could charge him 100% of my quote and he would honour it – even if scope turned out to be somewhat less than anticipated.
- While he is on-site a lot and stays in touch with the minutiae; even then he focuses on working on the business. (He has built great systems that fully integrate across all channels, it is up to date and produces reliable numbers that allows him to keep his hand on the tiller AND to make strategic decisions.)
- He invests (substantially – more than $15K per annum) in his own personal development and growth.
- He is willing to constantly, proactively seek out professional expertise and respond to it appropriately – before it is too late in a constant push to ensure that the business is fine-tuned.
- He invests and reinvests constantly in the business and the premises.
You may well argue that in a successful multi-million dollar business he can ‘afford’ to do these things – but I also now know that this has not always been the case.
What successful retail entrepreneurs understand above all else is that you can’t start doing these things ONCE you become successful, but that you have to do them IN ORDER to become successful.
GANADOR: Customer Acquisition, Retention and Engagement